What Can Cupping Therapy Do For You?John Stamoulos
Inflammation and pain go hand in hand in the physical body and are often the result of chronic muscle stress from such bad habits as poor posture, or repetitive movements such as slumping over a computer everyday or spending extended time holding a phone between your ear and your shoulder. Swelling at the site of pain can be immobilizing and uncomfortable and can actually increase the tension of muscles, which intensifies the cycle.
Enter the ancient Chinese therapy of Cupping…
Cupping encourages the movement of blood flow into the areas of the body that are swollen, tense or painful, helping to increase healing, reduce swelling and restore the natural flow of energy and immunity where it hurts.
The traditional approach to this therapy involves the use of cups (glass or silicone) that are heated inside and then placed onto the skin where the swelling or pain is occurring. As the cups cool, the vacuum inside the cups sucks the skin is sucked inward which causes blood flow and stagnant fluids to be moved away from the area and fresh blood carrying nutrients and oxygen to flow in. The increased blood flow helps encourage healing, relieves pain and minimizes inflammation.
What Can Cupping Help?
In addition to pain management, studies have revealed that cupping can be effective for various conditions such as herpes zoster, acne, facial paralysis, cervical issues, as well as anemia, hemophilia, arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, varicose veins and high blood pressure to name a few.
Cupping is often used in conjunction with acupuncture, which helps promote more systemic relaxation and supports the relief of the emotional and mental aspects of tension and anxiety that often is the source of the physical pain. Cupping is also a complementary approach that is frequently used in massage therapy.
Cupping and Massage Therapy
Massage cupping technique involves movement of the cups across the body tissues that provide decompression of tissues, help release adhesions and loosen the movement of fascia in the body. The flow of oxygenated blood carrying healing nutrients and moving out blocked fluids is encouraged throughout the body’s tissues and usually involves circular movements of the cups over oiled areas of the body. Often the treatment begins at the ankles and works up toward the heart, encouraging lymphatic drainage as well as deep relaxation for the patient.
Massage Cupping technique is also particularly effective in sports performance support, as well as in softening and diminishing scar tissue, supporting calming of the nervous system, and pain relief that are often associated with such conditions as diabetes, arthritis, scoliosis.
Side Effects of Cupping Therapy
After a cupping session, one can expect to experience mild discomfort as well as red circles or mild bruising on the body where the cups were applied. This should resolve in a few days.
Overall, cupping therapy is a reliable and immediate solution to the tightness and pain that muscles suffer as a result of the chronic stress and anxiety that are a constant in today’s world.
NOTE: It is recommended that you consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning a cupping process as it is contraindicated for anyone using blood thinners, who has issues with bleeding or blood clotting, who has open wounds or who has fragile skin.